Although he isn’t flashy, Joe Harris appears to have solidified his place on Team USA’s 2019 FIBA World Cup Roster.
Brooklyn Nets fans can start to breathe a little easier about Joe Harris. For the second-straight exhibition game, Harris was in the starting unit for Team USA during preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Team USA took down Australia in the first of two exhibition games between the two countries by the score of 102-86. Kemba Walker led the way with 23 points and Myles Turner was incredibly active, notching 14 points and collecting 10 rebounds.
Harris finished with five points (2-for-4 shooting), four rebounds, and three assists. Although those numbers might look unspectacular, he scored both his buckets early in the first quarter and was a clear threat for the Boomers when he was on the floor.
Joe gonna be a secret weapon for the USA? pic.twitter.com/NShOz9NNiy
— MavsHighlights (@MavsHighlights) August 22, 2019
“At the end of the day, we are all competing and trying to do what we can to help the team win,” Harris said via USA Basketball. “That’s all that matters. We’re out here to continue the rich tradition of USA Basketball, and at the end of the day, we’re just competing, busting our (butt) trying to get wins, and that’s all that matters.”
There’s no doubt that Harris can bring immense value to this team even if he’s not putting up eye-popping numbers. He is a deadly three-point shooter and his gravity opens up driving lanes for guys like Walker and Donovan Mitchell.
Will Harris be a consistent starter throughout the World Cup? Probably not, but he looks like a lock to make the 12-man roster at this point.
Head coach Gregg Popovich still needs to cut one more player before the roster is set. Marcus Smart has yet to play in any scrimmages or exhibitions, but he appears to be a lock for China if he hasn’t dropped out already.
Derrick White Jr., on the other hand, only played a handful of minutes on Thursday. The San Antonio Spurs guard was a late addition from the USA Select Team, but his days are numbered.
It’s worth noting that Harris was also from the Select Team, but he was called up prior to White.
Harris and USA basketball will take on Australia on Saturday in their final tuneup for the World Cup.